Extra MustardSI On CampusFantasyPhoto GalleriesSwimsuitVideoFanNationSI KidsTNT
Updated: Wednesday, March 5, 2003 10:39 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Recap | Box Score | Today's Scoreboard
Vanderbilt (10-15) at No. 2 Kentucky (24-3)
VANDERBILT COMMODORES
Vanderbilt Commodores
Related Links:
KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Kentucky Wildcats
Related Links:

LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Having already clinched the East division title in the Southeastern Conference, second-ranked Kentucky tries to stretch the nation's longest winning streak to 19 games on Wednesday when it hosts Vanderbilt.

It will be the final home game for Kentucky guard Keith Bogans as well as fellow seniors Jules Camara and Marquis Estill. Bogans is currently seventh on the Wildcats' all-time scoring list, just four points behind Kevin Grevey.

"It has gone by too fast," Bogans said. "It seems like I just got here yesterday and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would."

"Over the years, he and I have kind of clashed at times," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "He really has a lot of belief and confidence in his ability. But that's why he's the player that he is. He's always been one of the guys that wanted to take the big shot, be a part of making the big plays. He's accepted his role as a leader this year as well as any leader that I've had since I've been coaching."

During Kentucky's 18-game run, it has forced 17.5 turnovers per game. The Wildcats have won nine of their last 13 games by at least 15 points.

Bogans is averaging 16.2 points and Gerald Fitch chips in at 12.3 points per game. The Wildcats' balance is demonstrated by the fact that five players average at least nine points per contest.

Kentucky is 25-0 at Rupp Arena against Vanderbilt and has won six of the last seven meetings overall. The Wildcats rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half and posted a 74-52 rout of the Commodores in Nashville on January 14, a game that Smith credits as a key to the current streak.

"I think it was monumental," Smith said. "It showed our kids that we could come from behind if we gave it our all defensively. And that we can shut teams down, because we felt that we had shut down a very good offensive team. Vanderbilt had played everyone very well up until that point."

Vanderbilt (10-15, 3-11) has lost seven straight and has not won since a 76-68 victory over Mississippi on February 1. The Commodores have lost all 10 road games this season.

Junior forward Matt Freije leads the Commodores with an 18.0 scoring average and Brian Thornton chips in with 12.8 points per game.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
Search